On the latest episode of “The Cleveland Show,” amusingly-titled “Hustle ‘N’ Bros” (as in “Hustle & Flow,” for those who didn’t get the reference), Cleveland got a visit for his always stress-inducing father, whose respect Cleveland never quite got over the years as a man. When his wife Donna’s ex-husband Robert muscles in on his father time, literally becoming his adopted brother when his dad takes a shine to him, Cleveland reaches his breaking point.
Determined to gain his pop’s respect once and for all, he decides to reach out to his newly-minted bro and have Robert teach him how to “hustle,” hence the title. Naturally, Robert can’t resist messing with Cleveland, at one point literally sending him on a wild goose chase. Naturally, Cleveland can’t resist playing “Duck, Duck, Goose” with the birds, but much to his chagrin, they keep winning: “Of course you’re good at this! You’re the inventors of the game! That’s like playing Chinese Checkers with the Czechs!”
Eventually, Cleveland gets to the bottom of everything. It turns out that Robert is actually jealous of all that Cleveland has and was doing his best to horn in on it all, down to trying to take his place within Cleveland’s own family: “You even get to have sex with someone you don’t have to hold down!” Robert laments.
Fortunately, all’s well that ends well, as he finally earns his father’s respect when he see how much Robert envies Cleveland. Finally, he allows Cleveland to do what he always hoped to do: to dance for him. (Um, okay?) I don’t know why, but I found the last line both amusing and somewhat poignant: “I would never dance for my father again.” It must be a reference to something. Anyone know? Sound off in the comments if you do!
Meanwhile, Rallo and Cleveland, Jr. land in hot water when they break Donna’s flute (!) and she holds CJ’s beloved stuffed Cheetah hostage until they can come up with $1100 by Sunday to replace the cherished instrument.
CJ: “Where are we gonna come up with $1100 by Sunday?”
Rallo: “Well, we are on a street corner.”
CJ: “Hot Dog stand?”
Rallo: “Kinda.” LOL.
They opt instead to become dog bounty hunters (get it?), or rather, people who find lost dogs and return them for a reward, not unlike the plot of the recent, underrated “Seven Psychopaths,” which is well worth a look if you haven’t seen it and like Tarantino-style crime flicks with verbose gangsters. Eventually, they find a big ticket item in one particular dog, a snowball-looking pooch named Rock Hudson for some reason. (I think I missed the joke there, too.)
However, Rallo gets attached to the dog and stows him away rather than returning him. CJ finally has to snatch him away, but when Rallo frantically catches up, they discover that the owner was trying to get rid of him anyway, and is willing to pay them to keep the dog. They agree and CJ’s beloved stuffed animal is saved just in the nick of time and a happy ending is had by all.
Some good gags here and there, but I suspect some obscure jokes impeded me here and there. Oh well, what are you gonna do? It is what it is. Here are some jokes I did get a kick out of: Donna’s book in the opening shot, which was entitled “Garth’s Brooks: Jennie Garth’s Guide to America’s Smallest Streams”; Cleveland’s singing of his father’s impending birthday to the tune of “Turning Japanese”: “Turning 63, my dad is turning 63, I really think so…”; the incredibly random “Wizard of Oz” reference; and Donna’s subtle switch from her “crazy” wig to her “normal” wig during the rescue of CJ’s stuffed buddy.
Good lines not already mentioned:
Cleveland, giving in easier than expected to his wife’s demands: “You’re gonna wear me down eventually…might as well give in now.”
Announcer: “This joke brought to you by marriage…Marriage! It’s just a never-ending compromise!” (Singers chime in) “And a slow death…” Big LOL.
CJ, as he sees Rallo dressed as a pirate: “Blackbeard!”
Rallo: “A blacker beard than Jada Pinkett Smith!”
Robert, to Cleveland, after a road trip with his father: “Did you know there’s a Hepatitis J? Vegas is crazy!”
Funny stuff. Though I think I missed some of the jokes here and there, I still enjoyed this episode of “The Cleveland Show.” What did you think? Good stuff or just an average episode at best? Catch any references I missed? Let me know in the comments section!